The harsh reality of Life after Graduation

Published by storiesonpaperplanes on

This article is dedicated to all 2020 graduates out there. I know, like everyone else, you’ve done the very best that you can to finally graduate and to pursue the chosen career path that you’ve always have in mind. May you continue to soar and fly high with your dreams. The world is yours to conquer!


You might have considered that college might be the hardest part of your journey as a student because of course there’s these never-ending exams, reports, on-the-job trainings and thesis that you have to face alone or with a group. It doesn’t really matter though! The struggle is as twice as hard as your high school and elementary struggles combined or even greater than that! Who knows?

Well, that’s what I thought. Until April 5th 2019 came and as I waved good bye to all the memories, to all the struggles and hurdles that my university had witnessed. As I turned the tassel on my graduation cap to the left and finally graduated, reality hit me hard that life after college is way harsher than college itself! I thought life after college will be all about rainbows and butterflies. I remember telling myself, “I can’t wait to graduate college and finally earn my own money and explore the world in my own terms.” But honey, let me tell you this, that “earning” part do comes with set of responsibilities like, paying your own bills, setting your own budget, managing your finances (saving and investments), meetings and celebration that got to be cancelled because you have work, and all that jazz! Man, adulting did not come with a guide. You have to discover on how to deal with it and balance everything by yourself!

Life after college is also a questioning stage for most people. Blessed are those who landed on their dream job right after college. If you did, well, congratulations! If you didn’t, please know that you’re not alone. I know for once in your life you’ve also asked these questions:

  • Now that I have graduated, what will I do next?
  • 4 years of being in college was exhausting, shall I take a rest for a few months?
  • Shall I pursue my dream job? What if I won’t get qualified?
  • Shall I apply for a small company first for experience? What do I do now?

These are the million dollar questions that even I, myself asked right after I graduated and trust me I never had it all figured out as well! I just kind of wade my way through.

  • Now that I have graduated, what will I do next?

4 years of being in college was exhausting, shall I take a rest for a few months?

Let’s all admit that college was indeed exhausting. It doesn’t matter if you’ll take a rest for 2, 3 or even 6 months. Take as much time as you need to rest you owe yourself that but never let the passion in your heart to run out.

  • Shall I pursue my dream job? What if I won’t get qualified?

It doesn’t matter if you did not landed on your dream job just yet, it is okay to take a gradual steps to your career path. It doesn’t matter if a lot of doors came slamming right in your face. It’s not the end of the world yet! The most important part is that you tried and you’re continuously striving to get there.

  • Shall I apply for a small company first for experience? What do I do now?

It doesn’t matter! Just continue to put yourself out there whether it might be in a small or a big company, the experience and the lessons that you’ll learn along the way will always be worthwhile. Besides, it was never wrong to start small!

The harsh reality after graduation is that there’s no certainty that you’ll get to have your “dream job” right away even if you got all your career planned out! Trust me, I used to! But life always has its way to surprise you. I had my first job 3 weeks after I graduated, it came so unexpectedly because it wasn’t planned at all! I was just tagged along by my friends in Tom n’ Toms Coffee one afternoon because I thought we’ll just going to chill and talk. But to my surprise, they gave me an application form to a BPO company here in Iloilo and put me on an impromptu job interview. That whole experience was crazy and I didn’t expect to make it. But lo and behold, I passed and got a good paying job. So for the mean time, I kind of settle since I haven’t had my next move figured out yet or let’s just say that my career plan already changed and it’s okay. It’s normal.

Self-doubt will start to kick in a few months after graduation. When you see that it “seems” like everyone got it all figured out, they’ve already landed on their dream job or they’re already working in the company that they’ve always dreamed of. At this point in time, comparison should be the last thing that you should be doing. It doesn’t matter if Cassy already had her first flight as a flight attendant in the best airline company in the country, or whether Jen had her internship in the US in a prestigious hotel.

Hey, you need to stop being so hard on yourself! (Although, I, myself is even guilty of doing it sometimes.) But seriously though, stop comparing your timeline to other people’s timeline. Life is not a competition. Focus on your goal. Focus on the “now” that you have.

  • What can you do for this time-being?
  • What are the things that you can discover more about yourself?
  • What are the things that you could learn?
  • What are the things that you’re passionate about?

The world is never too small for those who have the drive to push themselves and make things happen for them, to get to live the life that they always dreamed of having. You might be at 21, 25, 30, or even 40 years old right now. It doesn’t matter! Just don’t get stuck when you fail because no one is a failure! You always got to choose, whether you wanted to be the victor or the victim of your circumstances. Please, do yourself a favor and choose the first one. Take it as a challenge to do better, to go beyond your capabilities, to strive even harder. You’re never too late to make your dreams a reality. Stop putting a lot of pressure on yourself, you’re doing just fine. I know, you’ll get there, in time.


How was your life after graduation? How did you handle adulting? Did you get to land on your dream job? Comment your experiences below and let the people know that they are not alone!


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